Susan raised her arm and knocked on the door to the Bower’s house. Lavender answered the door after a moment.
“Hi you guys!” she said, her eyes bright. She opened the door and let Susan and Ron inside.
“So…” Susan said slyly, looking at Lavender. “Why exactly did you need me to baby-sit tonight?”
“Because…” Lavender felt tongue-tied. “Henry and I are going up to see if Charles Rochester really haunts the house he’s remodelling.”
“Who?” Ron asked.
“No one.” Lavender said, blushing furiously. She grabbed her cloak, and put it on. “Lori’s playing in the other room, she’s probably pretty tired and will go to bed soon.”
“All right.” Susan said, smiling as she leaned back against Ron. He put his arm around her waist.
Lavender grabbed a pizza box. “Well I’m meeting him over there…thanks again you guys!” and with that she gave a hurried wave and was out the door.
Ron stared after her for a moment. “Sue…what’s going on with her?”
Susan sighed. “Isn’t it obvious Ron? I just hope she’ll be okay….” She shook her head and then pulled her cloak off and put it on the chair in the hallway. They went down to the living room where Lori was sitting on the floor.
“Hi!” Lori beamed up at them. With her blond hair and large blue eyes, she was a beautiful child. Susan grinned back and sat down next to her.
“What are you reading?” she asked.
Lori held the book up. “Lavender gave this to me.” It was a book called “Mr. Snuffles goes to the Shrieking Shack”.
“Does she read it to you?” Susan asked, looking up at Ron who had sprawled on the sofa.
“Uh huh.” Lori said. “She even does voices.”
“Really!” Susan exclaimed. “Would you like me to try?”
“Okay!” the young girl said, sitting next to her and leaning against Susan’s shoulder.
*** *** *** *** *** ***
Lavender pulled her hood up over her head as the first drops of cold rain began to fall. She hurried up the drive and into the open front door.
“Hello?” she called out as she stepped inside.
“Up here!” Henry called back. Lavender climbed the dusky stairway, it was growing darker due to the storm and she wanted to be up where Henry was.
“Hi!” she said breathlessly as she reached the top. Henry had a blanket on the floor, with candles around. Romantic, she noted, although she wasn’t sure if that was his intent or not.
“Hi Lavender.” Henry smiled at her. She pulled her cloak off and set it aside, holding the pizza box in front of her.
“Food!” Henry seemed extremely pleased. Lavender laughed and sat down on the blanket.
“Come on then, let’s eat before this heating charm wears off.” She opened the box and pulled a slice out. He flopped himself down on the blanket next to her.
“You can’t possibly believe in that story I told you.” Henry said, ravenously biting into his own slice.
“Oh why not?” Lavender asked in her own defense, turning to look out the window as lightning flickered. The storm had come on full force.
“Because it’s just a story.” Henry replied, looking up at her with a teasing glint in his eye.
Lavender sat back on her elbows, stretching her legs in front of her. “But it’s a proven fact that all stories come from a true source, so if it’s not Charles Rochester, then it’s someone else haunting the house.”
Henry sat back as well, right next to her. “You surprise me sometimes.”
“I do?” she asked.
“You’re just so full of knowledge, you remind me of myself so much.” He turned and looked at her.
“Is that good or bad?” she asked teasingly, a bit flustered at having him so close.
“Good I should think…” he grinned, and was about to say more when a loud and long creak was heard from the floorboards outside. Lavender and Henry both turned at the same time to look.
“What was that?” he asked, a smile spreading slowly over his face.
“Charles Rochester!” Lavender cried triumphantly. “I TOLD you so!!” she leaned forward and pushed lightly on his shoulder. But before she could lean back, Henry had grabbed the front of her shirt, pulling her closer.
He looked down at her, her eyes were wide, her mouth slightly open in surprise, and before Henry could stop himself, he was leaning down to lightly kiss her lips.
Lavender felt her body stiffen as Henry’s mouth touched hers. However, at that moment, her mind took over and her arms were snaking around his neck, pulling him closer for a deeper kiss.
Henry responded, forcing her lips apart with his tongue, giving in to what he realized he wanted for a while now. His hand came up to lightly touch her cheek, caressing her face gently. His other hand began to tug at the buttons on her blouse slowly, giving Lavender time to stop him if that was what she wanted.
She didn’t want to stop. Her body rose underneath his as he got the last button undone, then they both sat up as he gently peeled it off her frame. It was discarded on the floor, and moments later his shirt fell on top of it. Henry ran his hand up her smooth arm, pulling her back to him for another mind searing kiss.
Lavender felt a small cry escape from her throat as Henry pushed her back onto the blanket. “Please…Henry…” she whimpered as he trailed his lips down her neck.
“Lavender…” his voice was husky as he raised himself up. “We shouldn’t be doing this….”
“No, we shouldn’t…” she said, her voice faint. “But I don’t think we can stop…”
*** *** *** *** *** ***
Lavender huddled close to Henry, resting her head on his back as he flew them home. The rain was still lashing down quite fiercely, but she still felt quite warm from the activity that had just taken place.
Henry loved her! She was sure of it. Everything was falling into place. Henry would divorce his wife, propose to her, and she would be Lori’s mother and Henry’s wife. She would be Mrs. Henry Bowers, Mrs. Lavender Bowers. She hugged his midsection tighter as he manoeuvred them down in front of his house.
He flew them right under the roof of the porch, where he sent them down gently. Lavender hopped off as he set the broom against the railing. They stared at each other for a long moment, and then Henry came forward and kissed her once more.
“Come on, let’s go in.” he said, grabbing her hand. She smiled and pressed close to him as he opened the door.
“Oh there you guys are!” Susan popped up immediately, her eyes wide. “Lavender, did you get that medicine for your aunt?” she asked loudly.
Lavender looked at her in confusion. “What?” They trailed behind Susan as she slowly backed into the living room.
Henry’s eyes went wide as they came into the room. “Nicole!” he exclaimed.
Lavender stared in shock. His wife had come home.